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South Dakota Legislative Session-Week 2 Update

By January 21, 2024South Dakota
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“Fix these words of Mine in your hearts and minds; …Teach them to your children…” Deuteronomy 11:18-19

Secretary of BOE Stands with Parents – A Must-Listen Testimony

HB1072, a bill from the South Dakota Education Association, is an act to establish qualifications for members of the Board of Education (BOE) Standards. HB1072 would have required those serving on the Board of Standards to be qualified professionals and have experience in the education field. Department of Education Secretary Dr. Joe Graves was the only opponent of HB1072. If you are interested in education at all, I highly recommend listening to Graves’s excellent testimony, which killed the bill, sending it to the 41st day. View the votes here. We wanted a Yes vote to defeat it.

Some nuggets from Dr. Graves’s testimony: 

  • Public Schools have lost some of the public trust, as evidenced by the growth of homeschooled students.
  • Parents are concerned about revisionist history and inappropriate content in library books.
  • Recent actions have told parents that they are not welcome. Law enforcement has been present at school board meetings.
  • National School Board Association treats parents as terrorists.
  • Education establishment reaction to recent Social Studies Standards.

Partners in Education Receive Boost

SB72 is a good bill that increases the annual limit of tax credits that an insurance company may claim through the Partners in Education  (PIE) tax credit program. This program began in 2014 and has periodically increased the limit of tax credits available, providing even more low-income families with a choice in education for their children. PIE provides scholarships to qualifying families for private or religious education. The insurance companies who donate to the plan receive a tax credit. SB72 raises the available dollars from $350 million in 2023 to $5 million. SB72 passed in the Senate with a vote of 25-7-2.

Linda Schauer
State Director